10 February 2012

South Sudan: Parliament Says Journalist Handled Not Mishandled

Juba — The joint committees of information, security defenses and public accounts in the national legislative assembly yesterday denied the allegations of the journalist being beaten in the parliament saying that the journalist went and sat in the wrong place which is only restricted for the MPs and any other authorized person by the clerk of the National Assembly.

The chairperson of information committee in the National Legislative Assembly Joy Kwaje told the members of the press during the press conference in the assembly hall that the allegations which were made against the Members of Parliament by The Citizen newspaper that they celebrated the beating of the journalist were not true since the incident happened when the MPs were still in the session and not aware of what was going on.

She added that Article 24 of Transitional Constitution of The Republic of South Sudan gives the freedom of expression to media and that all media houses should abide by law in democratic society.

According to Kwaje the chairperson of information committee the security personnel had asked Mading Ngor to get out of the chamber because he was not a Member of Parliament but a stranger in the chamber but he refused so he had to use force to get him out. She added that the security personnel said he did not beat Mading Ngor as it was reported in the media.

"During the investigation, we found out that Mading had more than ten cases with the security personnel of National Legislative Assembly," said Kwaje and that when he was asked to identify himself he refused saying that he was a south Sudanese and has the right to access the parliament and record his story.

However the committee urged the media houses to assign qualified journalists to the parliament and also to organize them and to provide them with IDs and also to report to the information and security offices everyday to register their names in the attendance sheet before getting inside for coverage.

She denied the allegations that Mading Ngor was banned from entering and covering parliament sittings instead she said that all should forget what has happened and move on to open a new page.

The MP urged the executive to bring the media bill back to the parliament to be discussed and passed as a law in order to guide and control the work between the media and other parties.

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